Russia-Ukraine Dialogues: Xi Jinping's dilemma

In this panel of the LSE IDEAS’ Russia-Ukraine Dialogues, we partnered with LSE IDEAS' China Foresight to discuss the implications of the war for China, who declared a partnership with “no limits” with Russia three weeks prior to the invasion. Speakers discussed the following issues:

  • China’s diplomatic position
  • Whether China will economically or militarily support the war
  • The paralells between Taiwan and Ukraine
  • How economic sanctions could affect China’s economy
  • The future of the Sino-Russian partnership.



This webinar was held on Tuesday 12 April 2022.

Meet the speakers and chair

George Magnus is an independent economist and commentator, and Research Associate at the China Centre, Oxford University, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. George was the Chief Economist, and then Senior Economic Adviser at UBS Investment Bank from 1995-2016. He had previously worked as the Chief Economist at SG Warburg (1987-1995), and before that at Laurie Milbank/Chase Securities, Bank of America and Lloyds Bank. His written work and a blog can be found on his website at George’s latest book, Red Flags: why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy, was published in 2018 by Yale University Press, and then in paperback in August 2019 with newly commissioned material.

Mariah Thornton is a MPhil/PhD student at the Department of International Relations and a researcher at LSE IDEAS. In her co-edited volume Taiwan's Economic and Diplomatic Challenges and Opportunities (Routledge 2021) with Dafydd Fell and Robert Ash, she examines the concept and development of Taiwan's "international space" across the Tsai Ing-wen and Ma Ying-jeou administrations. Her research at LSE focuses on China’s foreign policy and strategy toward Taiwan, cross-Strait relations, as well as Taiwan in digital IR. 

Olga Tokariuk is a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and an independent journalist and researcher based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Her professional interests include Ukrainian politics, international affairs, and the study of disinformation and its impact on democracies worldwide.

Leon Hartwell is the Sotirov Fellow at LSE IDEAS and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington D.C. His research interests include conflict resolution, genocide, transitional justice, diplomacy, democracy, and the Western Balkans. Previously, Hartwell was CEPA’s Acting Director of the Transatlantic Leadership Program and a Title VIII Fellow.  From 2012 to 2013, he was also the Senior Policy Advisor for Political and Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Zimbabwe, where his work included government and civil society engagement, political reporting, peace building projects, and supporting human rights defenders. In 2019, Hartwell completed a joint doctoral degree summa cum laude at Leipzig University (Germany) and Stellenbosch University (South Africa). His thesis analyzed the use of mediation in the resolution of armed conflicts.


This panel is part of LSE IDEAS' Russia-Ukraine DialoguesGiven the recent escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war (24 February 2022), the conflict continues to be fluid and requires cross-disciplinary analysis. Weekly panels, scheduled for every Tuesday, will bring together in-house and external experts to report on and discuss the war’s impacts on various global issues.